Many parents find it hard to be really attentive and in encouraging their children’s curiosity all the time. This is due to the fact that children are, naturally, very eager to know. But the way we handle their questions should be what matters most.
There are times especially those when being pressed for time that our answers would be “I don’t know, but maybe we could get someone or something who/which could tell us.” Or we could just say, “That’s a really interesting question. We could try googling for it this afternoon or maybe this evening or talk about it in the weekend.”
In handling children’s questions, it is important to consider these things:
- Try asking curious questions yourself. When you’re on a picnic at the beach together, ask questions such as, “Why do you think the waves always rush to the shore?” Where did the sea gets its water?” Why do you think the sky is blue?”
When you’re asking questions, you’re showing interests in the first place. When you’re asking questions, you’re encouraging them to use their imaginations. When you’re asking questions, you’re actually enriching the way they think.
- Explain, explain, and explain. Take time to explain what they already know and want to know more about the subject. You should find way to discover what they’re really thinking at their current levels of reasoning. Try building on what they already know or jog their memories by saying, “Remember what we said last time when we tackled about this question?”
- Help them think through the questions and deduce possible solutions. It is normal for young children to immediately seek a ready-made answer from the nearest adult when they saw something that sparks their curiosity. They probably have an idea or a clue to the answer but just hadn’t taken the time to think it through.
Important: Parents or the other significant adults of their lives don’t have to give all the answers. But they could help their children think through the question and guide them in discovering the answers. Sometimes these kids would be able to find a way to come up with interesting theories and in formulating answers quite well.
We should remember that each time we give our children the opportunity to inquire and explore and if we’re encouraging them to ask questions, that they would continue to observe, wonder, and make speculations and connections throughout life.